Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!) is a private/public initiative to help communities and local groups of all ages and interests preserve their sculptural legacy for the next century.
It's an American tradition to decorate our towns and cities with outdoor sculpture, to raise monuments to remember those who came before us, to declare our values and our creative spirit. Time and progress, nature and vandals have taken their toll on America's outdoor sculpture. Poisons, unknown a century ago now erode our monuments.
Save Outdoor Sculpture! is a catalyst to save our sculptural heritage. In Phase I of the program, 6,000 volunteers reported 30,000 publicly accessible outdoor sculptures to the Smithsonian Institution's Art Inventories datebase. Of that total, 45 percent were determined to be in critical need of attention, with nine percent of those requiring urgent treatment to survive the coming century.
In Phase II of the program, called SOS!2000, those volunteers and other citizens, students through seniors, are working to preserve 10,000 sculptures and monuments as a gift for the next century. SOS!2000 is a multi-faceted approach to increase preservation and appreciation of historical and contemporary public sculpture. Education about the necessity of maintenance is a common message throughout Phase II.
Save Outdoor Sculpture! Learn more about Save Outdoor Sculpture! with this fully illustated overview.
SOS!2000 Awards recognize and support projects that preserve and enhance learning about outdoor sculpture. Awards are presented in three categories--assessment, maintenance training, and achievement.
The SOS!2000 Honor Roll is a national tally of 10,000 public sculptures actively being preserved for the 21st century.
Make A Lasting Gift for the Next Century
Follow this guided, introductory tour through the steps of caring for your community's outdoor sculpture and monuments.
Students, scouts and youth are important to SOS! Learn facts and fun stuff about monuments and outdoor sculpture via SOS!4Kids, an interdisciplinary web site for kids and their teachers, parents, grandparents and other adults in their lives. The site presents real kids who have had nifty experiences with outdoor sculpture too.
Monumental Defenders receive SOS! certificates for their leadership in preserving their town's outdoor sculpture for the next century. Leadership means having a professional conservator assess the condition of a sculpture. Leadership can be raising money to cover the costs of treatment and maintenance.
SOS! Update, published twice yearly, reports on local, national and international efforts to save outdoor sculpture. This newsletter is the primary source of information about SOS! Back issues are available. The newsletter is free of charge.
An annotated list of all SOS! print, video, and online resources is available for free.
To visit sites of related interest to SOS!